He always wants to hear the facts first, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo repeats regularly at his daily media conferences on the Corona Virus. Facts in the time of the Cov-2 pandemic are so far mainly figures. The research is in full swing, but there is still far too little verified about the new Coronavirus for solutions to be on the table. So Cuomo, known as aggressive and demanding, has all available data collected. And presents them daily. Since 22 March, a similar Regime has been in place in the state on the east coast as in Switzerland. “If I want 19 million New Yorkers to stay at home, I have to say everything I know – only then will I be believed. I can’t have 19 million people arrested, " he explains. He divides his presentations into “facts"and " opinion”. Cuomo is proud that over 500,000 people have already been tested in New York State. But figures about positively tested he rarely mentions. Rather, the most European of the US states relies primarily on the numbers of hospitalizations, on regional differences as well as demographic and health data of the deceased. Thus, the course of the epidemic is followed and lessons are learned.
Strain on hospitals
In recent weeks, many journalists have asked the Swiss authorities in vain about the numbers of hospitalisations and intensive care units. These would change daily, if not hourly, therefore they are not useful, they were granted by the Federal Office of Health.
New York sees it differently and publishes the adjusted number of hospital admissions and exits every day. Admittedly, admission is still around 2000 per day. On an adjusted basis, however, these figures show that the number of Covid-19 patients has been steadily decreasing since 3 April. In recent days, even more withdrawals than admissions have been recorded.
The adjusted Numbers of hospital admissions and discharges.
Cuomo uses these figures to show the population on a daily basis that the strict measures are working. So it is always clear throughout the state how many hospital places are occupied and, with the Regional Division in another list, where they are located. However, since he does not trust daily figures, there are always statistics that show the three-day course and thus give more certainty.
Further indications are the occupied places in the intensive care units:
The occupancy of intensive care units is an important means of control.
Here, too, adjusted net figures of inflows and outflows are shown on a daily basis. The authorities in Switzerland and Germany do not provide these statistics.
Since for the treatment of seriously ill ventilators are essential, there is also a daily overview:
New York also had to buy ventilators and borrow them from other states. Now they are made available to the cities and states that need them.
The state of New York has developed a logistics system that transports ventilators from hospital to hospital if necessary, depending on the needs of individual hospitals and districts. The Javis emergency hospital, built by the military, served as a Reserve. To date, 800 patients have been admitted there.
Over 12,000 people died of Covid-2 in New York last month. Governor Cuomo repeatedly reiterates that he is not prepared to offset dollar bills against life. The task of the state is to save lives and protect them by appropriate measures. The exact data collection on the deaths produced frightening results: he had to communicate that the death rate among African Americans was higher than among other population groups. African Americans make up only nine percent of the population in the state of New York, but are massively overrepresented with a share of 18 percent among the dead. The reverse is true for the white population: they make up 74 percent of the population, but their share of deaths is “only” 60 percent. “This difference is terrible and unacceptable. We must quickly find out what it is: the greater poverty of the black population because they live more closely together? Because you do not have health insurance? What is it-our task is to prevent this. And quickly.”
More than 12,000 people have died since the outbreak of the crisis. The statistics show who is particularly at risk.
The exact data series also show who is at excessive risk of dying from the Coronavirus: men with high blood pressure, Diabetes and over 60 years of age have the greatest risk. The statistics (as of April 17, 2020) of the basic diseases clearly show that pre-exposure to high blood pressure (6,944 deaths / 6,200 over 60 years) and Diabetes (4,571 deaths / 3,900 over 60 years) are the biggest risk factors. Almost 90 percent of the deceased suffered from a basic illness, and almost 85 percent were over the age of 60. In total, almost 60 percent of the deceased were men.
One-third of the deceased lived in retirement homes or home institutions for adults. This statistical data has been around for a few days and Cuomo apologized to the media for not having collected these figures earlier.
According to Cuomo, the younger deceased are primarily people who work in health care and in services that come into close contact with the sick.
A new normal
For Cuomo It is clear: until an effective vaccination is available, there will be no return to the usual normality. “There will be a new Normal. Only by testing for antibodies, for the Virus, by searching for contact persons, isolations and quarantine of those affected will we find an exit,” he explains again and again. This requires many and early Tests for the Virus and an “army of trackers”, that is, people who can find and isolate a person whose contact persons very quickly after the infection has been detected. New York now begins with 2000 antibody tests. The goal must be to offer 100,000 such Tests per day. First, all these capacities would have to be created, so that if the lockdown is lifted, the contagion would not accelerate again. “After a month of strict rules, it is the case that a Person still infects 0.9 people on average. But even with a value of 1.4 (one person is infected with an average of 1.4 people), there is again the risk of an exponential infection rate. The margin is small, we don’t have much leeway,” says Cuomo.